Hmm. The BBC and Big Finish have announced the winner of their short story competition and [livejournal.com profile] bibliophile1887 observes that the list is overwhelmingly male. [livejournal.com profile] snapesbabe entered and shares the concern (interesting comments discussion in both posts). This put me in mind of a discussion last week at [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid's over recent submissions to his magazine:
there is a long history of women writers obscuring their gender ... One hundred percent of the authors who submit their work to Clarkesworld under an initialed byline are women.
I'd like to think that such attitudes are in the past, but looking at my shelves, the overwhelming majority of my SF books are also written by men; my current favourite author may be female, but most of the rest of my picks are male. Is this because less women are writing, because I have 'male' tastes or is there still sexism in the publishing industry?

Having said that, (Cllr) Nick submitted an entry, and as it didn't win, he's posted it to his LJ.
Seriously, I'm surprised this one hasn't[ETA: it did, oops] this made it into [livejournal.com profile] slapfights already. Anyway...

The Science Fiction Writers Association (of America) was, until recently, a mostly dead dog. Then [livejournal.com profile] scalzi decided to run as a write-in candidate for their presidency,a nd suddenly everyone is taking an interest again. One of the issues that has come up in the campaign is that of giving away free e-books web promotions and similar. Now, there's a lot of debate about this, and some of the negative points are strong, and valid. But some of them, well, they're really not.

One of the reasons why the SFWA was a moribund mess? The outgoing vice-president, Howard V. Hendrix, emailed a blogger asking him to publish his opinions on e-publishing. He thinks that, and this is for real, authors who e-publish their work, especially for free (shock horror) are webscabs and converting the noble calling of Writer into the life of Pixel-stained Technopeasant Wretch. Seriously. For real. First out of the gate that I've seen was the wonderfully ascerbic [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid, who demolishes the argument wholesale. Then [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll ponders if it would be possible to avoid a Pixel-stained Technopeasant Wretch lifestyle.

Initially, [livejournal.com profile] scalzi declines to comment but then declares
Yeah, I Couldn't Just Leave It Alone and writes an excellent rebuttal concentrating on Hendrix's belief that publishing is a zero-sum game and the way that an elected officer could call his constituents backstabbing scum (extra comments).

All of this prompts Nebula nominee Jo Walton to declare Monday 23rd April is International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day, and asks that as many people as possible, especially pro-writers, give away something online that they would normally charge for. Scalzi is in, James is promoting it and also has some food for thought about extinction events with some nice graphs about biodiversity as well.

So, next Monday, give away something for free online; post something on your journal, write a story, etc. I'm not an author, not a writer, but to keep in the spirit of the thing, would anyone want an SEO/site usability analysis from me, to be published openly here?

Oh, and try to come up with something for yourself as well, as the more the merrier I say, because being a pixel-stained technopeasant might be fun...
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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